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Serving the People of Brevard County, Florida
Date: 7/29/2020
Subject: LWVSC August 2020 Newsletter
From: League of Women Voters of the Space Coast

LWVSC bi-monthly Newsletter Header

With the primaries just around the corner, you may be wondering what League of Women Voters of the Space Coast (LWVSC) is doing to get out the vote for both the primary and general elections. It is true that with the COVID-19 pandemic there is great disappointment that we cannot do in-person voter registration in the community as we usually do. Here is a quick update on what is happening now and the steps that you can take to continue the League’s mission of promoting voting and informed participation in government.
Voter Services Committee (VSC)Activities: 
    • Working with Florida Today and Eastern Florida State College to present Candidate Forums before the Primary Elections – Last in the series will be on August 6th – check the LWVSC website for details 

    • Social Media Campaign for Vote-by-Mail (VBM) and Get Out the Vote (GOTV)- Members of the VSC have developed a tool kit of social media posts which they are sharing with partner organizations.
    • On July 6th two members of LWVSC participated in the radio show ‘Viewpoint with Seeta and friends’ which was entirely focused on voting and getting out the vote for the upcoming elections. 
    • Spreading the word about voting by putting flyers in backpacks of children going back to school.

What can YOU do!!! 
    • Remind your family and friends to –
        ◦ Register to Vote
        ◦ Request a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

 A Vote-by-Mail ballot is your safety net to making sure that whatever is happening with the pandemic that you are still able to vote. If you have a Vote-by-Mail ballot the options to participate in early voting or voting on election day are still open.        
    • Participate in LWV of Florida sponsored phone banking initiative focused on registering returning citizens.
    • Share social messaging posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

As most of you are aware, this is a very important election, but I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that when representing LWVSC, a non-partisan organization, it is important not to engage in any discussion of party politics.  As League members we put our efforts into improving access to voting and other priority issues and we do not endorse candidates.  Also, it is important that only the president represents the positions of LWVSC at meetings and in writing. This helps us speak with one voice as an organization and is what gives us credibility and a reputation for integrity in the community. 
Thank you for all that you do.

Stay well, stay strong and take care!

In League,
Jo Shim
LWVSC President


The Silent Auction opens for bids on Saturday, August 1st - a link to the auction page will be emailed early that morning to all members.  The link will also be available later that day on our website and Facebook page.  The Silent Auction Page will not require sign-in to view items and bids for items will be by email to our silent auction support team. Payments and pickup will be coordinated at the conclusion of the auction and following our finale ZOOM event on August 15th.

We ask members to invite your Facebook friends and/or forward the emailed link to friends and family.
Thank-you for supporting our FUNdraiser event!

This Month's Hot Topic

The 19th Amendment is 100 Years Old
 Are you ready to celebrate the birthday of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution?
The League of Women Voters of the Space Coast hopes we all are looking forward to a tribute and celebration in honor of the Women who made it happen, the Men who helped make it happen, the People who keep it happening, and the Children who will sustain the vision.

Our original plans included a luncheon at one of Brevard’s historic venues, but the best laid plans had to be adjusted to the times in which we find ourselves. So, we will Zoom! This is a save the date announcement with the promise of an exciting program in the works.
So mark your calendars now for SATURDAY, AUGUST 29, 2020*.
That’s 11 days after the official ratification day in 1920, but Florida waited until May 13, 1969 to belatedly ratify the amendment. That fact and a few others will be included in our program, so let’s get together, learn together, and have some fun together. It’s been a long time!

*Exact time and Zoom contact information will be sent via email.

Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Molly Domin, LWV of the Space Coast’s (LWVSC) volunteer of the month.
Molly is a career photographer and currently lives in Melbourne Beach with her husband and two sons. She served on the LWVSC board for two years as chair of the Justice committee during that time. In October 2019 she took over chairmanship of the LWV of Florida statewide Gun Safety Action Team and we are proud to have her leadership at the state level.
In her “free time” Molly works on gun safety issues with other local and national organizations. 
The LWVFL Gun Safety Action Team meets by conference call on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. Please see the calendar on the LWVSC website for details. Participation in statewide calls is open to all league members.  

Important Information

Candidate Forums During the Pandemic

Undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming primary and general elections? Check out the virtual candidate forums jointly sponsored by the LWVSC, Florida Today and Eastern Florida State College (EFSC).

For the past several months LWVSC has worked with Isadora Rangel, Florida Today’s Engagement Editor, and EFSC staff to bring candidate forums to the public in the midst of the pandemic. Using the Livestream platform, Ms. Rangel has been hosting hour long forums. LWVSC members have contributed many of the questions that are posed to each candidate.

The forums are streamed live on the Florida Today website at,

You Tube, and the Facebook pages of LWVSC, EFSC and Florida Today, with televised reruns available on WEFS, Brevard's pubic TV station operated by EFSC. Go to to find information on WEFS programming.

Upcoming Candidate Forums include the races for School Board Districts 3 and 4 (July 29 at 12:00 PM) State Representative District 53 (August 6 at 7:00 PM), County Commission District 1 (September 24 at 7:00 PM) and District 5 (October 1 at 12:00 PM), and Brevard County Sheriff (October 8 at 7:00 PM). If you missed the prior candidate forums for Palm Bay Mayor, Congressional District 8 and County Commission District 3 or can’t catch one of the upcoming forums, they are available on the Florida Today website.

Our own LWVSC website home page has a link that will take you directly to both past and current forums.

Committee Spotlights

Social Justice Committee
Gun Safety by Kathy Ebersberger
The Social Justice Committee’s Hot Topic on Gun Safety was very informative. Barbara Markley covered the safe storage of firearms and some of the reasons that the safe storage of firearms and locking them up can help save lives. She is the driving force behind LWV’s program of providing gun locks to firearm owners.

One of the sobering statistics cited by Barbara is that a child is shot in Florida every 17 hours. Locking up firearms could surely reduce the number of accidental shootings. Indeed, in Florida firearms-related injuries are the second-leading cause of death in children.

While Florida has enacted a Child Access Protection Law (Fla. Stat. § 790.174), it is rarely enforced and a violation only results in a second-degree misdemeanor. Further, the statute contains a loophole as it provides that a firearm must be securely locked, or or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure. We hope to broaden the protection provided by this law in the upcoming legislative session. 
The statistics on firearms in Florida are grim. Florida has the highest rate of road rage incidents in which a firearm is used. Guns are stolen in Florida every 26 minutes and Florida ranks third in the nation for gun thefts. Indeed, gun theft is one of the main ways individuals who are prohibited from possessing guns obtain access to firearms, and those firearms are often later used in additional crimes.

Another area covered by Barbara was domestic violence. The presence of a firearm in the home increases the risk of death for a domestic violence victim by as much as 500%. A domestic partner is killed every 16 hours.

Suicide is another concern. There are twice as many suicides in the US as deaths in car accidents. The decision to commit suicide is often impulsive, and only 1 in 10 survivors of a suicide attempt will try again. 
Adolescent suicide is 4 times more likely in a home with a loaded, unlocked firearm. In 18-24-year-olds, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Veterans also have a higher rate of suicide than non-veterans.   
The Veteran’s Administration is attempting to address the suicide rate among veterans.
Diane Conaway has made the Social Justice Committee aware of a program called Cover Me Veterans that provides veterans with pictures of their loved ones on skins that are affixed to their guns. The VA hopes that these pictures will help reduce impulsive suicide attempts. For more information about this program go to 
There is clearly a lot of work for LWVSC to do in the coming legislative session to reduce these unnecessary deaths. Molly Domin of LWVSC heads up the LWVFL Gun Safety Committee and would welcome your help if you would like to get further involved with these issues.

Schools in the Era of Covid 19
One year ago in preparation for the opening of the 2019-2020 school year, the major discussion was school security. Should we arm our teachers? Today we deliberate over how teachers and students will begin the 20-21SY. Should our schools even open? What a difference a year makes!

The League of Women Voters of Florida has been conducting a series of Friday Lunch and Learn sessions on Zoom. Friday’s gathering featured Dr. Mona Mangat, a Board Certified Allergist & Immunologist and former National Board Chair of Doctors for America. She lives and practices in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Dr. Mangat spoke and answered questions for an hour beginning with the important reasons why children belong in school. We all know about the benefits of socialization and attention from professionals. Her emphasis on food security (many students depend on free and reduced breakfast and lunch provided by the schools), equity (not all families have the necessary technology for on line learning), the required reporting by school staffs of violence against children (home conditions are not always safe) and the necessity for parents to return to work were added reasons for opening schools. 

The significant downside, she believes, is the government mandate for the opening of brick and mortar schools five days a week beginning in August WITHOUT the best practices in place as recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. Best practices include 14 days of less than 10% infection rate (Florida’s current rate is 12.2% and Brevard is 6.8%); adequate and rapid turn around testing (20% of kids test positive); personal protective equipment; sufficient hospital staff; trained contact tracers (6500 are needed, 2000 on hand); and updated air filtration insuring proper air ventilation with special daily cleaning in our classrooms.

Without the ability of the Florida Health Departments to authorize the opening of schools, Dr. Mangat recommends school boards consider methods to reduce exposure such as cohort groupings of no more than 10 students, eliminate the use of lockers where students congregate, block scheduling to reduce the movement of students from class to class, staggering start and end times,  mandatory masks for middle and high schools, temperature checks, and outdoor classes weather permitting. These ideas cost money and some have been examined by the Brevard County School Board as the Board moves toward an August 24th opening, providing parents with the option of in school or virtual learning.

What is the role of the League? “The League supports Home Rule”, said Patti Brigham, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. Locally during this period of transition, the Education Committee will continue to monitor and report on our adopted Programs of Work, namely developmentally appropriate early childhood education, students in transition (aka homeless) and low socio-economic status, adequate technology and instructional design, funding and distribution of funds to charter schools and oversight of school vouchers to private schools, mental health, and support to teachers to enable the delivery of high quality education for all students.
Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools, Dr. Mark Mullins will be our guest at a Zoom Hot Topic on Saturday, September 12th. We know you will want to be a part of this event. Details on access and time will be forthcoming.

Dr. Mangat concluded the session urging students and staff get the influenza virus vaccination before the October flu season. We also learned from Dr. Mangat that this COVID-19 strain has been around for only six months and while the medical community has learned much there is still a way to go.

One thing for sure we do know. Parents and our entire school community have some very difficult decisions to make. Information based on established data can help in these uncertain times, but the challenge faces us all as we pursue our daily lives in the safest way possible.

Celebrating the Wisdom of Brevard's Youth
by Terry Mott

On August 26, 2020, the LWVSC’s Sustainability Committee will launch a campaign to promote the kindness movement in Brevard.


This initiative was inspired by the Kindness Club at Suntree Elementary--a group created in 2017 for third through sixth graders to work together to create a kindness culture at their school--and a group of Tropical Elementary transitional kindergartners who have launched a global kindness initiative.

According to a Florida Today article, the Tropical Elementary kindergarten class--led by their teacher, Barbara Wilcox--created a symbol of kindness that received support at the county and state levels, and on March 5, 2020, on behalf of the students, Rep. Bill Posey presented to Congress U.S. House Resolution 887 “recognizing a symbol of kindness and urging acts of kindness throughout the nation.”

Rep. Posey said What they [the kindergarten students] are learning is that in causes great and small, people can work together to mount a campaign to make a positive change in the world...It’s an important lesson for them, but their campaign also reminds us all of something very important and that is how to treat others.”

The Sustainability Committee’s campaign--entitled 100,000 Trees for America~One Million Trees for the World--will ask participants to plant a tree that is native to their respective areas. Participants may also provide the Committee with the location of the trees for mapping purposes and comment on Facebook whether they are planting the trees in someone’s honor.

The goal for the first year of the campaign is to inspire the planting of at least one native tree in: each city/municipality in Brevard, each county in Florida, each state and territory in the U.S., and in each of the 193 countries that in 2015 together created the Sustainable Development Goals for the United Nations.

By planting a tree, participants are simply acknowledging the power of kindness and their commitment to inspire acts of kindness in the world.

As Ms. Wilcox said of her students, “They just want people to be kind.”

The launch of the 100,000 Trees for America initiative on August 26, 2020 is significant because it marks the 100th Anniversary of the signing into law of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited any U.S. citizen from being denied the right to vote based on gender.

And as a gesture of kindness and appreciation, the Sustainability Committee will plant a native tree in Brevard this year to honor the efforts of countless women and men to bring this law to fruition.

For additional information, please contact Susan Little at and/or Terry Mott at

Kindness Club at Suntree Elementary creates smiles for everyone

Nice! Local kindergartners’ kindness initiative makes its way to U.S. House

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

19th Amendment

National Park Service


Let's Talk Recycling

Recycling has been widely discussed since changes in the recycling market happened after China enacted its National Sword policy in 2018. As explained in The World  the National Sword policy follows China’s Green Fence, a 10-month policy the country enacted in 2013, which set initial standards for lower contamination levels for recycling. After adjusting to the new reality, recycling is still not at its best. Is there a way to make it better?

Join us in that discussion via Zoom on August 8 from 10-11am. Use our Event Calendar to register. We will be meeting on the second Saturday of each month from 10-11am via Zoom.

Recommended material to be reviewed for the first meeting:

Mountains of US recycling pile up as China restricts imports

China's New Recycling Policy Could Give U.S. An Opportunity To Rethink Its Process (audio available)

The World's Recycling Is in Chaos. Here's What Has to Happen

Recycling in the U.S. Is Broken. How Do We Fix It?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Recycling Chair Marcia Booth at

Social Media


For any member interested in social media, our meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month from 10-11 am via Zoom. Use our Event Calendar  to register to participate in any future meeting. Our next meeting will be on August 15. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Social Media Chair Marcia Booth at

Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): Microaggressions

by Sue A. Ebersberger


What are Microaggressions?  
Harvard University professor Chester Pierce coined the term “microaggression” in 1970 to describe the insults and dismissals he regularly witnessed non-black Americans inflict on African Americans. Psychologist Derald Sue broadened the term by applying it to any group –racial, social, religious, sexual orientation, gender, etc… that is “other than” the dominant culture.   Microaggressions tend to be subtle statements or actions of prejudice that let the receiver know that she or he is NOT a “real” member of the group.  
Microaggressions are a bit tricky because the person conveying the statement may indeed be well meaning… trying to give a compliment in an odd sort of way.  Others may claim that the statement is “just a joke” … expecting the person receiving the statement as well as others to laugh.  Many times, the receiver realizes in retrospect that the comment or question was hurtful and served to make her feel “different than” and excluded from the group.

Examples of Microaggresion Statements:  A third generation Asian American is told “You speak English really well.”  A white student asks a student of another race “But where are you really from?”… or… “You are so articulate for being a (insert ethnic minority group).” Someone else might be told “You don’t look gay.”  Words Like these hurt and make people feel like they don’t belong.

Microaggression Actions:  A white woman walks to the other side of  the street when she sees an African American man walking towards her. A store employee follows a young Hispanic teen around while she shops. These actions tell the receivers that they are not fully trusted members of the community.  
A Fordham Univiersity blog on microaggressions states “Each event, observation and experience… is not necessarily particularly strking in and of themselves.  Often, they are never meant to hurt—acts done with little conscious awareness of their meanings and effects.  Instead, their slow accumulation during a childhood and over a lifetime is in part what defines a marginalized experience, making explanation and communication with someone who does not share this identity particularly difficult.  Socially, others are microaggressed hourly, daily, weekly, monthly...”

Experiences With Microaggressions, by Racial Group

A Gallop poll recently asked adults in various racial groups the following question:  “In your day-to-day life over the past 12 months, how often did any of the following things happen to you?  Here are the results:


People acted as if they were better than you
Black adults Hispanic adults Asian adults White adults

% Very often/Often  % Very often/Often         % Very often/Often   % Very often/Often
32 21 17 10

People acted as if they thought you were not smart

Black adults  Hispanic adults  Asian adults  White adults
% Very often/Often  % Very often/Often         % Very often/Often   % Very often/Often

  25 12 9 5

You were treated with less courtesy than other people

Black adults  Hispanic adults    Asian adults   White adults

% Very often/Often  % Very often/Often         % Very often/Often   % Very often/Often

  22 8 7 4

You were treated with less respect than other people

Black adults  Hispanic adults  Asian adults    White adults

% Very often/Often  % Very often/Often         % Very often/Often   % Very often/Often

  20 7 5 4

People acted as if they thought you were dishonest

Black adults   Hispanic adults  Asian adults     White adults

% Very often/Often  % Very often/Often         % Very often/Often   % Very often/Often
19 4 4 1
People acted as if they were afraid of you

Black adults     Hispanic adults   Asian adults        White adults

% Very often/Often  % Very often/Often         % Very often/Often   % Very often/Often

  18 3 4 2
You received worse service than other people at restaurants or stores

Black adults     Hispanic adults    Asian adults         White adults

% Very often/Often  % Very often/Often         % Very often/Often   % Very often/Often

  14 4 4 2  


Black adults experience microaggressions significantly more than any other racial group in our society.

What Can You Do?  To avoid making microaggressions, you need to explore your own biases and think through how they might be reflected in your own words and actions.  Reviewing examples of common microaggressions may help you identify those you might use.  Limiting, and hopefully ceasing, our use of microaggressions will help us build a more inclusive League.

Additional Important News

Welcome to Our New Members
Gail D Gannon
Lewis Kontnik
Enid M Naranjo-Rosado
Ellen Onieal
Melanie Penny
Franchesca Rosado
Joanne R Terry
Marilyn Waters
 Zoom Committee Meetings for August  
  • August 8th - LWVSC Recycle Zoom Meeting 10 am to 11 am
  • August 15th - LWVSC Social Media Zoom Meeting 10 am to 11 am
  • August 19th - Education Committee Zoom Meeting 10 am to Noon
Important Dates for Primary Election Voting 
Early Voting for Primary Election - August 8 - 15th
Recommended last day to mail Vote by Mail Ballot - Monday, August 10th
Primary Election Day - Tuesday, August 18th - 
 Link to Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins' webinar about her book The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters  The video is available at this link Video

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